29 Aug - 5 Sept 2014 #722

Beat That


Two years ago Beats forayed into the already competitive portable, wireless speakers market by launch ing its Pill wireless speaker. While the speaker was (as expected) appreciated by brand loyalists for its small size, easy pairing, and speedy rhythm, critics weren’t impressed with its thin and weak sound, and termed the product more ‘style than substance’.

In March 2014, the company released the Pill’s supersized version- the Beats Pill XL. Unlike its predecessor, the XL may not fit into the side of your bag, but it successfully overcomes many of the loopholes that the original had.

Like every other Beats products, the XL is well-designed. A metallic grille houses its four speakers, while Beats’ iconic logo, that acts as a combination of Play/Pause Track and Call Answer/End button (a built-in microphone gives the XL speakerphone functionality), sits on the front. The rear of the Pill is entirely made of black glossy plastic, and contains rest of the controls and ports.

Power, volume controls and battery indicator LEDs are on the right, with a pair of 3.5mm input/output sockets, a USB socket and a Bluetooth LED light over on the left. Another Beats logo at the back marks the NFC area used for pairing NFC-enabled devices.

Pairing the XL with Bluetooth-enabled devices is quick and painless, as the speakers automatically show on your device’s Bluetooth pairing list. For devices that do not support Bluetooth, connection via a traditional auxiliary cable (included in package) is available.

As with all Beats products, the sound is bass-heavy, so the Pill is at its best when pumping out hip-hop, electronic and all bass-heavy tracks. The true test of a device like this is at the loudest volumes - the Pill XL passes with flying colours for the impressive sound it generates with only the tiniest hints of distortion. Equally impressive is its battery life - up to 15 hours of continuous use on a full charge.

Priced at almost Rs 40,000, the Pill XL doesn’t come cheap, particularly when weighed against cheaper options. But for an audiophile and a purist like Yantrick, this is sound investment.

Yantrick’s Verdict: Better than all its competitors, the Pill XL is tailor-made for a large repertoire.

Connections: Bluetooth

Power Source: Battery Power

Battery Type: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion

Height: 10.4 cm/4.1 in.

Width: 33.8 cm/13.3 in.

Weight: 3.3 lb./1.5 kg

Length: 10.4 cm/4.1 in.

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